I’ve Never Paid for it in My Life! (Learning to love Facebook Boosted/Promoted Posts)

If you are like most companies, you pay for Facebook ads. We’re a little different. Our social media marketing philosophy is about building dialog with specific audience stakeholders and nurturing their buyer’s journey. But, like every other company, it turns out we may have to pay after all! Here’s why:

We believe that Facebook posts that get likes and comments organically (without running paid ads) are priceless in terms of building brand trust and high quality interaction. In that sense, organic reach is more valuable than paid reach. If your marketing strategy is focused on quality relationship building like ours is, you may abhor the idea of paid social media.

I need to pay? But why??

As of January of this year, Facebook has become more of a pay-to-play game. When not using boosts or the promote feature, Facebook limits how many users the post will reach. Contradictingly, as Facebook pushes organic content that is too promotional out of newsfeeds because they don’t think users want to see it, paid Facebook posts (which are promotional) get a crazy amount of reach. But, of course, Facebook wants to make money, so let’s not give them too much of a hard time. We’re not here to debate Facebook’s wacky policies...and we agree that an overload of promotional content is annoying, so we kinda get it.

So because of the way Facebook is, paid reach is critical. But, paid reach must be handled strategically, in order to preserve the brand trust and integrity you are trying to develop.

You can boost or promote the whole page, just one post, or a selected group of posts. Like developing a strategy for posting content, a strategy for paid reach is important, too.

Page-wide, the only option is to promote. The promote button is on the left side of the home page when logged in as an admin . Promoting a page helps the page gain likes quickly. However, those likes will be less selective and therefore lower quality, but the promoting does help with quantity.

For posts, the options are to boost or promote, which will help you pin point where your reach is going.

What’s the diff? Boosted vs Promoted Posts

‘Boost’ only filters are “your fans,” “your fans and their friends,” and location.

‘Promote’ filters include fans and friends of fans, as well as gender, age and interests. Boost is a button on the bottom of posts in the the admin view, but promoted posts must be created through Facebook’s advertising system: https://www.facebook.com/ads/create/

For both, pricing ranges between $5 and $200 per day, based on how much reach you want. You can choose how many days you want to boost or promote and you can choose whether you are doing so for the desktop feed, mobile feed, or side bar.

Boost is simpler to use, but includes fewer filters and ways to pay.

Now let’s talk strategy:

There are some general guidelines for what kind of posts should be promoted/boosted. Doing this for every post is a waste of money; posts should be chosen with your marketing strategy in mind.

Posts you boost/promote should be

1. Original. Why pay to gain reach with someone else’s content?

2. Include links to your brand’s website/e-commerce site. This way, when you reach more people, those people will have an easier path to purchase.

3. Promotions/contests/discounts. If you’re running something like this on social media, you’ll want to get the word out to as many people as possible. Also, these are the types of posts that will be pushed out of the newsfeed if they are organic.

4. VERY IMPORTANT: An image in a boosted or promoted post can only be 20% text. This is Facebook’s rule. If you’re planning to boost/promote a post, make sure the attached image is at least 80% image. It cannot be infographic.

More Tools and Techniques:

- You can create a “dark post” to boost/promote, which is an unpublished post that will only appear as an ad.

- ROI can be measured by using conversion pixels on ads. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-track-your-facebook-ad-conversions/

- Power Editor is a tool that can be used to manage Facebook boosts/posts. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-power-editor-guide/

- There is an “ad auction bidding” option for payment on boosts/posts. https://www.facebook.com/help/163066663757985

For more information on boosting/promoting, this is a great resource: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-boost-posts-promoted-posts/

Okay, that’s it for now. Take a deep breath: you are a modern social media marketer and you can boost your posts while still building trust. It can be done!